I am launching a new weekly Wednesday blog series (tentatively) called “Warning: Wrongless Writer Wednesday” or “W:WWW” for short. There is no real rule I am going to keep that will confine me (or anyone else) to certain topics or subject matters. Essentially, I (or a special guest) will share favorite quotes from respected individuals with strong beliefs on life and the creative process. In tone, quotes may be famous or filthy; obscure or serious; political or fantastical; comedic or dangerous; religious or ancient. In content, quotes may cover writing or writers; the creative process or lack thereof; life or death or sex or love or all; illness or dogs; narcotics or cooking; or something else altogether better. Just as there are no limits to who and what has the potential to influence us, so, too, does “W:WWW” posses limitless possibilities to what future Wednesdays may bring.
Now, but, why?
As a writer and reader and thinker and teacher and man in a metaphorical foxhole, I am ever-plagued by other people’s big ideas, while in route to developing my own. For ten years, I have kept and carried notebooks in my bag, quick to write down any word or phrase or statement or belief that called out to me as a literary lighthouse, warning of shallow waters and craggy cliffs of creativity. This blog series was born to not only clear out the crazy, cobwebbed-quotes collecting dust in my head, but to also create an all-inclusive club of critical thinkers, collectively and individually judging the wisdom of those who came before us.
For this maiden post, I could think of no better modern day writer/filmmaker/philosopher than John Waters to hopelessly inspire us to do bad things (on the page) while laughing.
by John Waters
Role Models is, in fact, a self-portrait told through intimate profiles of favorite personalities—some famous, some unknown, some criminal, some surprisingly middle-of-the-road. From Esther Martin, owner of the scariest bar in Baltimore, to the playwright Tennessee Williams; from the atheist leader Madalyn Murray O’Hair to the insane martyr Saint Catherine of Siena; from the English novelist Denton Welch to the timelessly appealing singer Johnny Mathis—these are the extreme figures who helped the author form his own brand of neurotic happiness. Role Models is a personal invitation into one of the most unique, perverse, and hilarious artistic minds of our time.
[Farrar, Straus and Giroux; First Edition edition (May 25, 2010)]
- Do we secretly idolize our imagined opposites, yearning to become the role models for others we know we could never be for ourselves?
- I was lucky enough to have worked out most all of my onetime troubling issues with my dad before he died. The ones that lingered, I turned into a career.
- You have to remember that it is impossible to commit a crime while reading a book.
- You should never read just for “enjoyment.” Read to make yourself smarter! Less judgmental. More apt to understand your friends’ insane behavior, or better yet, your own. Pick “hard books.” Ones you have to concentrate on while reading. And for god’s sake, don’t let me ever hear you say, “I can’t read fiction. I only have time for the truth.” Fiction is the truth, fool! Ever hear of “literature”? That means fiction, too, stupid.
- Without obsession, life is nothing.
- We need to make books cool again. If you go home with somebody and they don’t have books, don’t fuck them. Don’t sleep with people who don’t read.
- Nothing is more important than an unread library.
- I respect everything I make fun of.
- I would never want to live anywhere but Baltimore. You can look far and wide, but you’ll never discover a stranger city with such extreme style. It’s as if every eccentric in the South decided to move north, ran out of gas in Baltimore, and decided to stay.
- I’m so tired of writing “Cult Filmmaker” on my income tax forms. If only I could write “Cult Leader,” I’d finally be happy. Would you come on a spiritual pilgrimage with me? To Baltimore, naturally. Where I’d deracinate you from your family (after you’ve stolen all of their rare art books and turned them over to our communal library) and together we’d concentrate of what really matters in life – our infallibility. Pope Benedict XVI may have denounced “filth,” but we know better. Filth is just the beginning battle in the war on taste.
Until next Wednesday.
(END NOTE: If you are a creative-type and interested in being a guest W:WWW blogger, please contact me via the “Contact” link above.”)